Britain triumphs at Oscars - but UK games industry is Enslaved by unfair treatment

Opinion: Tim Ingham would like to thank the Academy...

"Had Pulp Fiction been set in the heart of the Sussex countryside, I'm sure this would have been a very different story."

His faltering buffoon act and girlish hair flicks never fail to irritate, but I've always found it difficult not to respect Hugh Grant following his redemptive, self-aware speech at the 1994 movie BAFTAs.


Four Weddings And A Funeral had just pipped Quentin Tarantino's exhilarating Magnum Opus to the Best Picture prize, whilst Grant had edged out John Travolta for the Best Actor gong.

The foppish ingenue had every right to revel in pomposity. After years as a jobbing actor filling the cookie-cutter of 'perverse posh boy' (Lair Of The White Worm was a particular low point), this should have been Grant's self-aggrandising moment; his "look at me now" fanfare.

Yet his decision to instead nod to his red-faced domestic entitlement was not only endearingly modest - it was considered, reverential and downplayed. Put simply, it was heartwarmingly un-American.

The actor's spot-on, bashful assumption - that the UK movie industry's most prestigious confederacy forgivably favours homegrown works - obviously does not stretch too far into the world of video games, however. The omission of Ninja Theory's excellent Enslaved from this year's GAME BAFTA Video Games Awards shortlist is mighty odd - and not a little puzzling.

Here's a title made by a British studio based in that most British of locations, Cambridge. It's a release which smartly emulates much of modern video gaming's greatest mechanical achievements - encapsulating them in a vivid, artful environment of lush greens, searing reds and acrid yellows. Its story has literary ambitions with surprisingly successful results, whilst interplay between its lead characters hits an all-too-rare standard of believability.


I had it marked down as a dead cert for an Artistic Achievement nomination - but BAFTA's judging panel patently didn't agree. Games that did make the category's Final Six included Call Of Duty: Black Ops.

Treyarch's release is certainly a decent shooter, but it's one that sticks to a painfully trad palette of dust, dank and dirt; a depressing contrast to Ninja Theory's holiday brochure of vibrant hues. It's also very much not set in the heart of the Sussex Countryside.

On the subject of patriotism and awards ceremonies, it is of course time to staple the bunting to our thatched roofs, break out Marjorie's piccalilli and maypole dance our way to the threshing fair: the Brits have smashed the Oscars.

Colin Firth's showstopping turn as a bumbling, stuttering blue blood (poor old Hugh - that really is his forte) earned the cherished thesp his slice of the spoils on Sunday, whilst The King's Speech also snatched Best Picture and Original Screenplay trophies.

Meanwhile, Welshman Christian Bale and Brit director Tom Hooper both mopped up major accolades, as US peers desperately scrabbled to method act "magnanimous" in front of the Kodak Theatre's most invasive cameras.

Now, I'm no Carling-swilling jingoist. I consider Bulldogs ugly, snotty mutts who missed their date with Darwinism; I don't know the words to Swing Low Sweet Chariot, and I gave up on the England football team way before Ashley Cole decided to play Lock Stock during half-time oranges. One people, one world, and all that.

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